500 Blue Marlin Releases for Pepe Anton

A remarkable lifetime achievement accomplished

jose anton releases his 500th blue marlin
Troy Kent, Pepe Anton, Capt. Ken Ross, Norman Pichardo and Eddy Larrea celebrate Anton’s milestone blue marlin release in Costa Rica.Courtesy Pepe Anton

Jose "Pepe" Anton caught his first blue marlin while fishing with his father in Ecuador at the age of 16. Little did he know that marlin fishing would become one of his passions. On April 18, 2018, Anton released his 500th lifetime blue marlin, fishing aboard his 64-foot Hatteras, Amirita.

According to his longtime captain of more than a decade, Ken Ross, Anton never let on that he was close to his remarkable goal. “We were on our first trip fishing the seamounts off Costa Rica,” Ross says. “On the first pass, he caught a blue on the pitch, then looked up at me and said, ‘I just need one more to reach 500.’

Of course, Murphy’s Law stepped in, and the next couple didn’t fully cooperate on the pitch, but then he managed to catch the one he needed near the end of the second day.” Ross says the fish was a tough 200-pounder, and that all their Costa Rica marlin were caught standing up on 30-pound-test tackle and dead bait, most by pitching to fish on the teasers.

At age 63, Anton shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. He remains on the board of trustees of the International Game Fish Association and is respected by his peers as a passionate, dedicated big-game angler.